The Federal Government has taken of about N100 billion in loans in the past one year. The borrowings were inclusive of external and domestic financial facilities for the running of the administration. The figure was disclosed by the Director-General of the Debt Management Office (DMO), Dr. Abraham Nwankwo in an official statement yesterday.
The statement contained in a publication indicated that whereas the external loans per month in the past months, the administration has been in power amounts to $43m, the domestic loans per month is $578 million, giving a total of $621 million per month for both.
The amount, at an exchange rate of N160 per US$1 is N99.56 billion for 12 months. Nwankwo also clarified that contrary to the claims by an ex-minister, Nasir El-Rufai that the government of President Goodluck Jonathan has been taking unjustified foreign loans to the tune of $1 billion every month, what he gave was the right figure.
He wondered where El-Rufai got his figures as the domestic and foreign loans put together was a far cry from the right figure available to his office and authentic, and asked Nigerians to disregard the $1 billion monthly loan figure as baseless.
He noted that with the current borrowing rate, the Federal Government still plans drastic loans reduction by 2015, and also explained that all the domestic borrowing of the FG were consistent with the Appropriation Act as passed into law by the National Assembly. According to the DMO office, the facilities – external and domestic were not meant for the use of the FG only as the states and local governments also benefitted from the facilities.
“It is important to point out that the appropriate external borrowings were for specific capital projects contained in the Appropriation Act. Therefore, the public should not be misled by reference to borrowing without reference to the capital budget in the Appropriation Act, which is an instrument reflecting the collective decision of all political parties and all segments of the country as represented in the National Assembly.”